A slashdot post announces two “credible” replacements for iTunes: Songbird and Amarok. Apparently these are credible because they pack in the features, including support for extensions and themes/skins.
I would love to see real competition for iTunes. I think it’s the worst software Apple makes, particularly in terms of interface design. But skinnable cross-platform music managers with a bunch of features I don’t use are not viable competitors. I want a music manager which is more Mac-like, not less. One with a single interface which is well-designed, not a dozen mediocre ones built by graphic designers who like drawing chrome. I want software with fewer bugs, better performance, and fewer spinning-pinwheel hangs.
In short, I want the kind of software that the open-source community seems to have the most trouble producing.
I don’t hold out much hope for a commercial competitor for iTunes, however. iPhone syncing and an iTMS interface are crucial features for me, and they both seem like non-starters for third-party development.